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The Division of Labor in Society

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  950 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Originally published in 1893 and never out of print, Emile Durkheim’s groundbreaking work remains one of the cornerstone texts of the sociological canon—now updated and re-translated in this new edition.As the Industrial Revolution was changing the landscape of society, Durkheim presented a new vision of the social structures at the root of capitalism, and the issues he gr ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published September 1st 1997 by Free Press (first published July 28th 1893)
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Putting aside for a second the super annoying "human body is a microcosm of society" examples, his blatant racism and sexism, and his borderline anti-semitism, there is something really interesting going on here.

Is this the Manifesto of the American Democratic Party circa 2010 (now)?

Because we've made our religions less rigid, and we've left our families for towns, and we've moved closer to one another, we can, we must, differentiate ourselves into different professions, to express our individua
One hell of a dissertation. At the same time I didn't appreciate in the slightest Durkheim's tendency to create prescriptions based only on the normative characters in a particular society. Normative, etymologically, concerns some type of adherence to a majority, and therein is a rather secure stance to take. I feel like for all the effort spent understanding the safest parts of society, Durkheim did little to incorporate the more subjugated members into that norm. Rather, he told Parisian women ...more
people drive people
This book was a required text for one of my senior sociology classes. While it is very educational, I could not bring myself to rate it higher than a two simply because it is so dry. I managed to make it through, but only by dragging myself along with the dregs of my strength ... it sounds terribly juvenile to complain about a text that is supposed to be educational and enlightening as "dry," but I believe the best-written books will teach you everything necessary and expound upon the author's h ...more
Brittany Bond
My Valentine's Day Blizzard Weekend 2015 accomplishment. Knocked off one of the first requirements in my long generals prep reading list. Read everything but the abnormalities stuff at the end which does not seem to be in use these days.
Luke Echo
Sociology Canon
I find Durkheim incredibly frustrating. The idea of social facts is, perhaps, an interesting concept for the time. However, his treatment of the division of labor really forces the social concept and often strides over the development of interesting perspectives from other disciplines. This is especially evident in his constant argument by negation. Another classic in Sociology, though, and another perspective to consider when viewing the economic realities of our society.
Savannah S
Four stars because much better than Marx and Smith in my opinion. Good, clear (are you listening, Marx?) writing. Interesting, thoughtful ideas and arguments. I particularly enjoyed how Durkheim applied the idea of the Division of Labor to systems and aspects of life other than the economy.

But don't get me wrong. This book wasn't exactly as pleasure to read either.
Vern Glaser
very interesting discussion and a good counterpoint to Marx...key concepts include mechanical vs organic solidarity, repressive vs restitutive law, and the idea that humanity becomes more individualized over time due to the division of labor.
Interesting, if redundant, look at the ever increasing specialization of individuals in our society which still rings true today. Parts of it were extremely sexist however, but that is largely a product of the period in which it was written.
A pungent analysis of current modernity, specially considering book III and the theory of democracy that figures in the last pages of book I.
had to read first three chapters for my sociology class. gave me quite a headache with lot of bad arguments
Lauren Sailor
durkie baby, can't we talk about beliefs some more? this DOLIS stuff was not up my alley.
Zahra Abtahi
when I give it two stars, it just means that I didn't enjoy reading it. no more.
Jun 10, 2009 Risa added it
The Division of Labor in Society by Emile Durkheim (1997)
Read in grad school. Need to re-read soon.
Shuffles between triteness and blantant racism.
Laura Jean
Durkheim needed an editor.
I love Durkheim
Nov 21, 2009 Jonathan added it
Shelves: sociology
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Much of Durkheim's work was concerned with how societies could maintain their integrity and coherence in modernity; an era in which traditional social and religious ties are no longer assumed, and in which new social institutions have come into being. His first major sociological work was The Division of Labor in Society (1893). In 1895, he published his Rules of the Sociological Method and set up ...more
More about Émile Durkheim...
The Elementary Forms of Religious Life On Suicide: A Study in Sociology Rules of Sociological Method Emile Durkheim on Morality and Society Selected Writings

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